tv [untitled] September 5, 2011 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT
development and local hire ordinances' always on the forefront of my mind, and i know it is on the forefront of the mayor and president chiu. without further ado, i just want to say thank you. i am just so grateful. thank you. [applause] >> thank you. next, i would like to bring to the stage a representative from congresswoman pelosi's office and just to say that she will always be our speaker. [applause] >> thank you. like supervisor cohen, leader pelosi was thrilled when she learned the grant had been awarded. she had been checking in regularly to see when the announcement was going to be made and had weighed in firmly in support of the application. unfortunately, she had already committed to speak at the american legion conference in minneapolis this morning where she is right now. otherwise, she would be year, but she asked me to bring her
sex to everyone -- she asked me to bring her thanks to everyone and the neighbors and supporters of the bay view neighborhood and alice griffith community for turning out to eight years while she could not be here, she did ask me to share a statement with you, which i will read now. today, san francisco has secured more than an investment in new housing. our city has begun to transform a neighborhood, revitalize a community, strengthen our economy, and provide a fresh start for the families of alice griffith year the project reflects the key goals of the choice neighborhoods initiative here to build sustainable mixed income communities with affordable rental and below market homes to connect to local households to services and schools, transit and jobs, and it upholds the principle of one- for-one replacement injuring no loss of public housing units, it
is a source of pride for all san franciscans that the federal government has placed this down payment on this new development. i was proud to advocate for this project and commend mayor ed lee and our partners for securing the grant. we look forward to working together to ensure the success of this effort in the future. thank you very much. [applause] them thank you. -- >> thank you. [inaudible] from the california department of housing and community development. >> good morning, everybody. when the governor's office asked me to be here, they made it clear that we were really here to congratulate the hard work and efforts that are happening here today.
you know, it is important, i think, to consider this is a serious investment happening at a time of dwindling resources available for affordable housing. people from the redevelopment agency may know a thing or two about that. [laughter] in this continuing era, it does not mean that we cannot just put things aside. it means we have to think about where our opportunities are, where we can put money that will make a difference, and how we will be able to leverage in the most meaningful way. i think it is very appropriate that this is happening and the california is, i think, rightly proud of your successes here today. thank you very much. [applause]
>> thank you. next up, a great partner. executive director at the housing authority, harry alvarez. [applause] >> hey, how y'all doing? i do not get to dress up and do this regularly and this is not something i enjoy doing a great deal, so i just want to say thank you to everyone who touched this process, whether you are the boss or the support of loss or you were handling the shovel, i just want to say thank you, but i want to talk about a couple of things before i sit down. i met a young man here some three and a half years ago in a jogging suit and a pair of sweats along with some other folks, and that person happens to be named ed lee. at the time, i was a young man looking for a job, and i said to
that young man, "let me have this job, and i will do the work." that young man later became the mayor, so i just want to say thank you to my boss, the mayor, and to all my other bosses -- there is a lot of them in this room -- to the 18,000 ross' i have to depend on me every day, whatever may come, to hit the ground running, we promise -- you were right there pushing me, kicking me in the rear to make sure that this happened, and here we are. i met with kofi and said we had to make this thing happen, and here we are. a young man i met some seven years ago, who we have been trying to work together for most of those seven years. we keep having lunch and phone calls and dancing together. it is like dating. we kiss and never get to see
each other again. finally, it will come to fruition. i am thrilled to be part of that. why am i committed to be part of this? it is not just a job for me. i am not just being a public servant. i lived this period were up by it. two of the worst ones in america -- harmony oaks, mentally, whatever you want to call in, in new orleans, louisiana -- i get it. i understand that we have to change it. i understand what happens to a dream deferred. i understand it has not always been a crystal stair -- that there have been born spend tax and rocks, but still, like air, we rise. i remember when they need a change is going to come. today is that change. today, we're going to do something different.
we're going to change not just buildings and trees and dirt and rocks. we're going to change human beings. for once, we are going to change the folks' lives who live here who will once again become part of the full circle of what is san francisco. this is my adopted -- i love it here. i hope after the craziness of today that they will let me state. [laughter] when i got out of the bed this morning, my wife said to me, "water you doing -- what are you doing?" i could not sit still. i was so excited. after my children being born, this is the best day of my life. [applause] say amen. this is the moment for all of us. if you had anything to do with touching this, you did something special.
now, i am going to go back to my polos and leather jacket, and many of you will not recognize me again, and you will get confused when they introduce me and what have you, but keep remembering that i am pedaling as fast as i can. we are doing the work. it took a long time to get here. it will take a while to get it all done. but i have friends who have been just rock-solid with my craziness as i have tried to push them, shove them, pull them, cajoled them, dam near kick them in the rear to get them through this process. all of you, i just take a moment and said thank you. for my mother, who is not here to see this, today, your son did something good. thank you all. i really appreciate it. we hope to see you all when we turn the first shovel of dirt. thank you very much. [applause]
>> i have done a lot of work with him, and i have never seen that before. [laughter] next up, carlos garcia, the superintendent of schools. [applause] >> i am going to keep mine short because i want to see the shovels. [laughter] i have to tell you, on behalf of the school board, and i know that hydra mendoza and the school board members are here -- i really want to say thank you. we have the privilege in our beautiful school district to serve 56,000 students. you're sort of going to go and thank all the different groups that got here because it really was an effort by everybody, but i'd want to 0.1 thing out, and that is this project has been long coming. i have to tell you, i think why
it finally happened is because everybody, all those names that people have rattled off -- the mayor and everybody else -- i have to tell you, the thing that brought us together is that all those people, including the school district, all of us -- we left our egos at the door and said this is more important than anybody's ego because this is about a community, not about individuals. it is about all the folks who actually live here. we come here and make some speeches, but we are going to leave. it is about the people who are going to stay. if we can build this community to be successful, the hours -- and our future will be successful. the work that is going on across the street, while we are excited about this project, and it was great that the city and department said, "carlos, we need your input. we need to get you involved." we sat down with them and we dreamed. we dreamed about the superintendent so we just set
up, we had a lot of different things going, but it would not be enough because the schools cannot solve the problem. a community, a city, everybody together solves problems. no one does a thing by themselves. i think that is why we have failed in the past to solve problems. we cannot depend on individual departments for our school districts to solve problems. this is a community issue that belongs to everybody, not only to the people who live here, but it belongs to every san franciscan that lives in this beautiful city of ours. this issue is everybody's issue. it is great to see the we're going to make the schools the best schools, not second-best, but the best. we are recruiting the best principles in the country to work in the schools, the best teachers in the country. some of the moneys will be going directly to support those efforts, to get great training for teachers, to build the capacity so that people understand the culture that they
are serving. that we have to be relevant with our students. we have to teach them about social justice. we have to tell them what is civil rights. to me, when you look at the strategic plan of the school district, we talk about social justice, and the fact that the greatest issue in america today, the greatest injustice, the modern-day apartheid in this country, and we ought to be ashamed of it, is the achievement gap. if we do not take that on -- and the way we take it on as by building a community, building a community that stands up for social justice, stands up for their children because our schools will never be good enough for any of our children unless we make every single school good enough for all our children. that is what this is about today. we come united because we know without apparent support, we need to engage parents. yes, sometimes people say that we sit up, but then people become sometimes a problem.
well, we need more of those problems. we need the people to advocate for their children and stand up for them because there's nothing more important on this planet than our children. so i hope you are here to celebrate a new beginning because i, like my friend here -- i also grew what i of the bari. i also grew up in the hood. -- i also grew up in the barrio. what we have today is not just hope. it is real action. i hope we do not all just come together to celebrate this, but i hope once the building takes place, that we come back here and demonstrate that we are going to walk the talk and make this hope not a whole but a reality for all our children and everybody who lives here. thank you. [applause] them and thank you. -- >> thank you.
[applause] >> good morning. i am the one to deliver the hope. that is my job. after all these speeches, i will be here for the next several years working on that whole -- that hope. before i tell you about my company, i want to put it in context. i was sitting here looking in that direction, as you are, looking at that. i was born and raised in kansas city, a long ways from here. i grew up in a public-housing project that looks just like that called west penn went public housing project. i have been a developer of affordable housing for 32 years. 16 years ago, i went to hud and got a hold 6 grant. i tore that damned thing down
six years ago. i know what it is like to live in a development would there is very little hope, a lot of despair, not much sense of the future. i tore it down and build a development, built a school with it, built a community center, a library, a health clinic, and build a community where there is hope for the future for children, the same sense of belonging in the people that live there, brought them back. kids now have a higher education attainment rate. they are healthier. there's people with jobs. there is that hope for the future and that sense of belonging. that is what we're going to do here, and that is what i am going to deliver. since that time, to give you a sense about the company, we have gone -- this will be our city of development of tearing down old public housing and building new mixed income developments. we have done it all over this country.
we have done it on the east coast, the west does, minneapolis down to new orleans where we are doing three bids. this is what we do. we develop. we manage. with our nonprofit urban affiliate's strategy. we do not just build and lead. we manage, operate, and deliver social services. that is what you're sorry bringing to you. that is my commitment to all of you here. henry and i have been talking for seven years and have been courting, but i refused to get in the back seat until now. [laughter] here i am. i want everybody to feel free to come and talk to me afterward. we are most humbled by this -- by being selected the developer
and this award and we will deliver for everyone. call me when you need me. otherwise, yusef freeman -- raise your hand. [applause] he is going to be the point person for a spirit with that, i leave you and thank you very much. with god's blessing and everyone's help, we will deliver on everything that we just talked about. thank you very much. [applause] >> thank you, tony. [applause] them a first of all, i want to thank everyone for coming out.
-- >> first of all, i want to thank everyone for coming out. i have been in this community for a long time. i want to thank some important people who have come here and struggle. they started on the ground, along with redevelopment, along with the mayor's office and other people who got together and said this was going to happen. they made sure it happened. major the community was involved so it could happen. i heard a lot of good words today, from the mayor, from everybody. i want to commit to you and make sure that you keep that word. make sure that it happened the way you said it was going to. like i said, we want to make sure we do not get this place. we want to make sure everything goes with the tenant involvement.
10 involvement and jobs for my residents. i am tired of partly. you want to come in my community and raise your signs and banners of here, i am not going to accept it. i want you to come in my community when the cameras are out of here, when we do not have the mayor here and when the supervisor is not here. come out to my community tomorrow with everybody is gone and say, "what can we do to help you?" i want you to come to my community when it is not beneficial to you. make it beneficial to us as a whole. i just want to thank everybody for coming out.
i want to thank the pastors and the community and say keep striving to do better for us as a whole. that is all i have to say. [applause] >> hello. good morning. my name is sheila glenda holmes, and i am alice griffith. i was born and raised here, and i have been here over 60 years. that does not mean you're sorry 60 years old. [laughter] -- that does not mean i am 60 years old. [laughter] just want to say what i can say -- we are so grateful to god for the blessings that have come our way. this is a great opportunity for our families to grow, to see new faces, and to just love one another along with jobs and opportunities. i am so grateful for ed lee. he is a good person.
he has been working with the community for as long as i have known him. i want to say congratulations to salazar for winning the grant, and i pray we all have opportunities to grow from the grant. i am also here representing alice griffith investment group. we have a community newsletter, and we ask that you take a advantage of the newsletter to get all opportunities in here. that is our job, and that is what we do here. ok. [applause] we are planning -- we are praying and working together as a family here. ok. we have opportunities today being announced. one of our partners is a
manufacturer, distributor of one of the most delicious-tasting and edgy drinks i have ever had. they are inside the center, so please, take advantage of that. we are working with the partnership -- we have another program that is coming up. the partnership with the creative institute. together, we will host the first ever bayview/hunters point career to that day, which we had an opportunity to have the mayor and supervisor cohen. that is something we have been working on for a couple of years. they have a lot of technology knowledge, and we're going to do some things for our family and our communities in this neighborhood. that is it. i just hope and pray that everything that happened with
the grant, that each and every one individually in each and every one of these homes are able to grow. this is my dream, and i am so grateful. that is all i have to say. [applause] >> thank you. we are just about at the end. generally, when i do the -- i acknowledge commissioners and talk about pac members in the broader group of folks that help put this together, but i think you have heard from just about everybody today, and they cover just about all the ground, so there is only just one thing -- hold on one second. >> i want to say something. >> hold on one moment. hold on one second, though. there's just one thing i wanted to say before i bring up reverend brown. [laughter] or before he boots me out of the way. [laughter] that there is a reason why
people have been so emotional today. i have been thinking about this over the last week or so. i have been emotional as well and kind of shared a few moments that you saw from supervisor cohen today. it is not because of the grant, although the grant is wonderful. it is because of the residents here. you have heard a lot of people mentioned them. [applause] i want to give you a sense of the quality of people we're talking about right now. about seven years ago, duane jones and i started meeting over there at bret harte and down here at this unit before there was a community center, talking to folks about what it wanted to see happening in their neighborhood. after we got through a lot of well-deserved anger about us showing up yet again to make some promises, folks started to roll up their sleeves.
you have heard from some of the people who were in those meetings. a lot of things have happened since then. there are opportunities there that you see behind you. that used to be d.c. parks. called the now house. duane jones put this on a barge. he brought it down the bay and parked it over here. [applause] everybody who worked on putting this on this foundation was from the development. as a result, we do not hear about broken windows in this center. you do not see any graffiti on this center. you know why? because folks on it. president chiu talk about tough votes. it was a resident of alice
griffith who showed up at each and every one of this commission meetings and hearings, some of which lasted until 2:00 in the morning, talking about this was an opportunity they were not going to see let go by the wayside. i just want to express to you how grateful i am to you all for allowing us to work with you to get to this point. [applause] how much it means to be able to deliver on their promise, and just one thing before i go, for everybody here before you leave, i want you to look beyond the garden over here, this piece of land. it will not mean much to you now, but what i want you to understand is that that piece of land will be the first site to
get developed here. the reason why that is important is because nobody, if they do not want to, will have to move from this neighborhood as this development occurs. [applause] this is not one of those things where a new shine the building is built, and the focus -- the folks who live through the years of this investment and neglect will not get a chance to reap the benefits. we can say that with 100% confidence. [applause] again, thank you, to the residence for letting us be part of this. thank you for letting us work with you, and thank you so much to hud for giving us the opportunity to make this real for everybody. thank you. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, i rose
to say that with the exception of reverend pastor or release walker -- aurelius walker, i am the one who has had the longest tenure as pastor of a predominantly african-american congregations in this city, and i want to give a friendly closing statement. of all the great presentations that have been presented here today, including the mayor, representatives from our congress woman -- congresswoman's office, i want you to not forget this -- that this day may be likened unto drinking a cup of coffee. you can add the coffee, the
water, and the sugar for your sweetener, but if you do not have a stirrer or a spoon to stir it up, it will never be good to the last drop. [applause] i submit to you that the naacp and yours truly will be the s tirrer and the spoon in this development to make sure that no protesters, around with a sign saying they do not give a damn about us. i am going to stir it up until we make sure that the folks who look like me have jobs in this community. to many promises have been made. when it was over, we got absolutely nothing. i am going